Derry Mask and Scrub Making Group appeals for volunteers and materials

An appeal has been made for sewers and materials to help create masks and scrubs for care workers here in Derry.
Maks made by local lady Anne Sands for carers.Maks made by local lady Anne Sands for carers.
Maks made by local lady Anne Sands for carers.

The Derry Mask and Scrubmaking group, an offshoot of the well-known Derry Square Knitters, have been diligently working away in recent days creating these much needed items for carers and workers in local facilities.

Aideen Hughes oversaw the previous group who, among other things, made and sent baby blankets to Syria.

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As the global pandemic took hold, Aideen changed its name and focus in response to demand for masks and scrubs locally.

Alongside the original members, a number of new sewers have come on board and Aideen told the Journal how demand for the garments has been high across the city.

The group is seeking more sewers to join them and is also asking for donations of materials to make the masks and scrubs - particularly poly-cotton, as well as items such as elastics. 

The sewers are all creating the garments in their own homes and delivery to those who had requested them was being arranged in line with restrictions and guidelines.

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While there are a few people and groups making masks, the group has responded to demand by also creating scrubs, which are also urgently needed.

The group is receiving numerous requests to make and provide both sets of protection equipment and would appreciate as much support as possible.

From the end of this week, with details still to be confirmed, there will be three pick-up  points made available at community centres in the city side and a further three in the Waterside. When these are in place, a person can show up with their NHS or care staff ID and receive up to five masks per person. 

A crowdfunding initiative has also been set up on Just Giving to raise funds to buy materials and supplies. You can donate to this at

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Anyone in need of masks or scrubs can private message the group on facebook at Derry Masks and Scrubmaking Group. You can also message the group if you would like to get involved in making them or have any material you can donate.

Aideen said that all involved are delighted to be helping care workers at this time of need.

She added that, as well as providing much-needed garments, the sewers are also finding that the activity is helping them get through self-isolation and all the uncertainty these unusual days can bring.

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